March 2004 Archives

Monthly Report: March

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Running: 22:38:47 | 151.72 miles | 23 days
Elliptical: 1:40:00 | 6.65 miles | 3 days
Weights: 7:32:00 | 16 days

17647 President's Challenge points

This was a really good month of training for me. This was actually my 3rd highest mileage month ever (1: 189.58, August 1996; 2: 154.94, January 1997), which is really exciting. I'll probably need to rethink my 2004 mileage goal at some point because, barring injury, my training plans will put me over the 1000 mile mark around September.

The Ugly Dog, pt. 2

33 degrees | felt like 24 | wind 12 MPH | sunny

With the lower wind and sun out, today felt a lot warmer than yesterday. Calves felt a little sore, so I decided not to do lower body weights like I had been thinking about. Pretty boring run today actually. I zoned out again, this time thinking about my upcoming races and trying to think about what I want to achieve. I almost had a run-in with the ugly dog, as noted earlier. There's this dog the next street over that I call the ugly dog because I think it's ugly (I told y'all I'm not creative with nicknames). It's owners put it outside on a long rope; the first time I encountered him I didn't realize he was on a rope and he scared me half to death when he came running at me. I'm kind of afraid of most dogs anyway, but I am terrified of them when I'm running. I never trust that they aren't going to attack me, and that their owner won't stop them or hear that I'm being attacked. That's why I won't run in rural areas. Anyway, the dog is on a rope, but he always comes running at me when I approach and it scares me. I always look to see if he's outside, and cross the street away from him when he is out. I've told the Engineer about the dog, and yesterday when we were driving to see the puppy, the dog was outside and the Engineer got to see him for the first time. He was kind of surprised to see that the rope let the dog reach the sidewalk - he thinks that's kind of rude/irresponsible. People shouldn't have to walk in the street to avoid your dog. We were talking about the length of the rope, and he wondered if it reached the street. I didn't think it did, but today proved me wrong as the dog ran out into the street when I went by. That just seems really wrong to me, to have your dog on a rope long enough that he can run into the street.

1.0 | 9:07
2.0 | 9:14 | 18:22
3.0 | 9:15 | 27:38
4.0 | 9:06 | 36:44
4.07 miles | 37:16 | 9:10/mi. | 431 cal.

The Ugly Dog

Note to the Engineer: the ugly dog was out today, and his rope DOES allow him to run into the street. Luckily, I had already crossed the street when I saw he was outside.


I am moving so slowly this morning. The cold weather (30/20) isn't helping me want to get going any faster. It's supposed to get up to 44 today, but that probably won't happen until after noon. The rest of the week is predicted to be shorts-weather, which will hopefully stick around. I don't think it's too much to ask that April stay out of the 30s, is it?

Two weeks ago while I was running the 15-miler with the track club, the Engineer went with his friend R to look at border collie puppies. The Engineer has had 5 border collies, and that's the only dog he is willing to get. I've never had any pets (well, JC had hermit crabs once), so I'm not sure if I actually want a pet at all. Anyway, R ended up getting a male puppy. The Engineer went over to visit them last week, and yesterday we both went to see the puppy. I think puppies are so cute, and this one was no exception. Even cuter, however, was watching the Engineer play with the puppy. He's going to be a great dad, I think. But seeing the puppy, and watching the Engineer play with it, kind of made me want one. But I'm not sure that I want to clean up after a dog, or deal with training a puppy. I think the training would fall to the Engineer since he's done it before (and isn't afraid to yell at the puppy. Don't worry, he doesn't go over to peoples' houses and just start yelling at their dogs when they misbehave. He's talked about training with R and she said he can yell when the puppy does something wrong, like nipping at him). There's a chance we might puppy-sit this weekend/next week with R is out of town, which would be a good trial run to see if I can handle the idea of actually owning a dog.

I should really get going, since I also want to weight lift today. I'm just feeling so unmotivated to go outside!

8 miles with my new hat

35 degrees | felt like 26 | wind 15 mph | overcast

After the nicer weather, today felt kind of cold. My hands are still kind of numb, and I've been back and inside for almost 30 minutes. I wore gloves, but as I ran into the wind, it cut right through them. Trying to use the keypad to get into the garage was hard, as was pulling my key out of my tights. I had trouble getting the key into the lock and turning the door. I really wish the Engineer had been home, because I also had problems trying to take my shoes off. The last few times I've had numb hands, he's been home to help me and that would've been good.

What made the shoe problem so bad was that I really wanted to get upstairs to use the bathroom. We don't like to have shoes on the carpet (especially not dirty running shoes), so they had to come off before I could go upstairs. I got a cramp around 6.5 miles, and I'm pretty positive that it was from needing to pee. I hate that! I know it wasn't my good friend side stitch, because this cramp was on the left side and it was lower.

Anyway ... last weekend, the Engineer got me a new running hat. I had seen Nike Dri-Fit running hats at the running store a couple weeks ago, but thought $20 was a bit much for a running hat. We stopped at the Nike Outlet on the way to my parents Friday to see if they had any spring running clothes. The stop was mostly a disappointment (no running shorts, no running sportsbras, no short sleeve Dri-Fit, and the long sleeve Dri-Fit shirts were still $20), but they did have the hats for a slightly more reasonable price. The reason that I love this hat is because it is actually adjustable. The hat I was running in before had an adjustable back closure, but I couldn't get it as snug as I wanted which is why it blew off during the 15-miler. This hat (I got it in pale pink because the only other color they had was obnoxious) has a velcro back closure, so I can actually get it to fit me. Even when I was running directly into the wind, it didn't budge. I also like that it's Dri-Fit instead of cotton, and it has 4 vents. Those features will be great for summer.

Pace was kind of all over the place ... I zoned out for most of the run. I finally set up the custom screen on the watch, and the 3 fields I chose were total distance, grade, and lap distance. So I didn't pay much attention to the time I was running. I liked using the grade function on the hills. Most of the baby hills I run are 2-4% grade, and my street is 3-5%. So it's no wonder that the treadmill hill program I did back in December (with 4.6-5% as the maximum hill) didn't seem very hard. I'll have to go run the big hills sometime to see what they are, although I think the reason they are hard is because of the length not the grade.

1.0 | 8:51
2.0 | 9:20 | 18:12
3.0 | 9:28 | 27:41
4.0 | 9:24 | 37:05
5.0 | 9:43 | 46:49
6.0 | 9:39 | 56:28
7.0 | 9:25 | 65:54
8.0 | 8:55 | 74:50
8.06 miles | 1:15:23 | 9:21/mi. | 829 cal.

Weather Whining

Stupid Minnesota ... it's back in the 30s (20s with windchill) again. No shorts for me today - back to tights. Bah!

4 miles + weights

45 degrees | felt like 38 | wind 16 mph | sunny

Nice day, except for when in the path of the wind. I ran a different route than I'd originally planned, because I didn't want to run back home into the wind. It's not that the wind was bad, just that it was cold. I was okay in shorts, but I wish I had worn my cotton gloves because my hands got cold when running into the wind.

No side stitch today. Paying some attention to my breathing must have done the trick.

1.0 | 8:52
2.0 | 9:18 | 18:10
3.0 | 9:24 | 27:35
4.0 | 9:06 | 36:42

4.10 miles | 37:35 | 9:10/mi. | 428 cal.

weights | upper body | 33:00

Running: 32.82 miles | 4:05:52
Elliptical: 0:30:00
Weights: 1:12:00
President's Challenge: 3702 points

Workout at the gym

I went to the gym with my mom this morning. I was going to go run in the area, but couldn't make up my mind where. I don't particularly like running from my parents' house because of a busy intersection I'd have to deal with. The chances of me being run over at that intersection are very good, due to the curve, slope and foliage surrounding the right turn lanes. So I was debating dealing with the intersection versus driving to the park when my mom came downstairs and offered to let me come work out with her. I love the gym that she belongs to, and I used to have a membership there. It's just a really nice facility with very well-maintained equipment. They don't have time limits on the machines (which is a gigantic plus for me, since almost all of my cardio workouts exceed most gyms' time limits), and I've never had to wait for a machine even when the place is busy.

So I ran on the treadmill instead of outside. I didn't have my MP3 player with me, so it was pretty boring. I was on "my" treadmill, though, so I at least was able to look out the window and pretend I was outside. (I always use the same treadmill when I work out there. It's the only one in front of the window, the others either overlook the basketball court or face the mirrors). I think I figured out the source of the side stitch - I'm not breathing enough! That sounds so funny, but I think when I'm really relaxed/zoned out, I don't focus on my breathing and therefore end up not breathing deeply enough. So I'll have to remember to focus on my breathing before the stitch arrives, and maybe that will solve it. I didn't check out a heart rate monitor, but I did briefly check my heart rate out using the sensors. I was really relieved to see 150, as opposed to the 170 I was seeing back in November. I guess the pace I was running back then really was too hard for me, even though I didn't think it was.

My mom was just doing weights, so I didn't have time to do a full weight workout after running. But I did take the opportunity to use my favorite machine of all time: the assisted pullup/dip machine. I love this machine because I feel really strong and powerful (a feeling I rarely have) when I use it. (I don't feel this way about the gravitron, however. I think it's because having to kneel emphasizes that I'm being assisted with my weight). I am proud to report a NSV (non-scale victory)! The last time I worked out there, I used assisted weight 70 for pullups, and assisted weight 64 for dips. Today, I used assisted weight 52 for pullups and assisted weight 46 for dips. The NSV is because this is the first time I've been able to lift over 50% of my own weight. I was pretty excited about that, especially since I've just been lifting at home. So even though I don't have a lot of equipment, and can't do a ton of exercises I am still getting stronger.

I got pinched with the calipers while I was there, too. I need to look up some formulas online, because I don't trust the one they use. It's the Jackson-Pollock 7Pinch Fat % Rank/Rating, and the result they give me seems much too low. According to it, though, I've dropped 0.5% of fat which is good. I have the actual caliper readings, so I can use those for tracking purposes (and once I find a better formula).

treadmill | 4.0 miles | 37:08
cooldown: treadmill walk | 0.21 miles | 4:00

10 pushups
50 crunches/50 side crunches/50 raised crunches
2 x 10 pullups (assisted weight 52)
2 x 10 dips (assisted weight 46)

5 miles

45 degrees | felt like 40 | wind 10 mph | cloudy

Ran in shorts again, although I kept my long sleeve shirt on today. I don't know why I like running in shorts so much, but I do. I'm sure some of is enjoying doing something different. For the past couple of months, I've worn basically the same exact outfit everyday of running: tights, jacket, hat. The only different were the shirts (and socks and underwear, obviously). So it is nice to run in different clothes each day.

I wish we had a full length mirror. I keep saying I'm going to buy one at Super Target, and then I forget about it until after I'm already back from shopping. We have mirrors in the bathrooms and bedroom, but I can't really see much below my waist in them. So I'm able to see my upper body and keep track of my muscles' progress, but I can't get very good looks at my legs. I kind of caught a glimpse of them today and my upper legs are becoming more defined. I've always loved my legs best when they're defined; I have a lot of muscle in my legs and they are pretty strong, but I store fat all below my belly button so the muscle gets hidden. The bad thing is that around my knee looks puffy, which I associate with fat, but the Engineer says is actually a muscle thing. He explained that it's something to do with where the quad ends ... or attaches ... or something. It made sense when he said it.

Anyway ... run today was okay. My calves are still a little tight. My back didn't hurt today, which was good. I still don't get what that was about. Aside from checking to make sure I turned around about 2.5 miles, I really ignored my watch today.

1.00 | 9:06
2.00 | 9:28 | 18:34
3.00 | 9:21 | 27:55
4.00 | 9:33 | 37:29
5.00 | 9:09 | 46:39
5.11 miles | 47:39 | 9:20/mi. | 523 cal.

We are taking a trip to see my parents this weekend, since we finished the computer. I haven't been home since Christmas, which makes this the longest I've gone since seeing my family. Even though they'll have a nice, new computer, I probably won't be back to post until Sunday or Monday since they use AOL and it both sucks and blows. Have a great weekend!

XT Day

weight lifting | upper body | 31:00
elliptical | 25:00 Cardio/5:00 CD | 21:47 in zone | 1.96 miles | 448 cal.

Long Run

47-55 degrees | wind 15-17 mph | sunny

Another nice spring day! I did run in shorts, which was good because tights would've been way too hot. (I hate running in pants, so I prefer to wear either tights or shorts ... not much of an in between). I wore a long sleeve shirt over my short sleeve shirt, but I pushed the sleeves up at 1.25 miles, and then took it off at 7 miles. I was wearing my black long sleeve, and I think it was just too hot.

Felt decent for most of the run. The stupid side stitch made its return today at the start and end of the run. I don't get what is causing it, but it's really annoying. The sloshy noise also made an appearance, and I'm thinking maybe it's a sign that I need to drink more water? I had previously thought it was maybe from drinking too much water before the run, but since I drank my entire 20-oz water bottle after finishing I'm wondering if it's actually thirst. I had something weird happen - at 9.5 miles, my back started aching. It was really bad, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it back home. I have no idea what caused that, but it was horrible.

Oh, and I realized something about my training today. One of the reasons that Hal Higdon says to do pace runs the day before long runs is that doing so will help to make sure you do your long run slow enough. And in theory, that makes sense (having tired legs should encourage you to run slower for recovery). But as my early miles show, it doesn't quite work in practice. After running 7 miles at 7:40, 8:50-9:00 miles feel pretty easy. And again, I still have a lot of work to do in terms of pace consistency.

1.00 | 8:50
2.00 | 8:57 | 0:17:48
3.00 | 9:08 | 0:26:56
4.00 | 9:20 | 0:36:16
5.00 | 9:08 | 0:45:24
6.00 | 9:14 | 0:54:39
7.00 | 9:08 | 1:03:47
8.00 | 9:10 | 1:12:58
9.00 | 9:17 | 1:22:15
10.00 | 9:18 | 1:31:33
11.00 | 9:08 | 1:40:41
11.43 miles | 1:44:25 | 9:08/mi. | 1097 cal.

Run across America!

I was reading the RW Forums today, and found something fun. Road Runner Sports has a running log on their website, and it maps out your total distance across a map of America. So far, I'm in Arizona.

Apparently it can't be directly linked to. Okay ... follow this link and then select "running log." I had to disable my Google Toolbar to get it to work.

Great run report

Low 40s | felt like high 30s | wind 5-6 mph | sunny

Today was absolutely gorgeous. I ran without my jacket or fleece hat/earband, just tights, short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt and regular hat. I think having two shirts on was good, although the long sleeves were unnecessary as I pushed up the sleeves on the long sleeve shirt within the first mile or two, and it felt great. It was so nice out, and I'm so happy that we're finally getting some spring weather. I decided I didn't want to deal with traffic lights and cars today, so I drove over by the river so I could run on the city bike paths. The path I wanted to run on is the one I found on my 14 mile run, which turns into the path we ran along on Saturday. There were several people out today; I even saw a few other runners.

I'm moving my workouts around this week, in case the Engineer and I go to visit my parents this weekend. We're building them a computer (they are still using their computer from '97; it's a 233 w/96 MB RAM and it sucks big time), and if the software arrives in the next day or two we'll have it ready to take to them by the weekend. I can run at my parents without a problem, and they're pretty used to me getting up early to run. But I'd rather not have to deal with doing my long run down there because then Friday night dinner becomes an issue, and the run will take up all of Saturday morning. I'd rather just have a 4-5 mile short run on the schedule. So I decided that since the weather was so nice (I'm sorry to keep mentioning it, but after all the crap I've run in this winter, I can't get over having actual nice weather), I would do my pace run today and my long run tomorrow.

Today's pace run was 7 miles. And it was awesome. Apparently Hal Higdon says these should be done at marathon pace, but I don't know what my marathon pace is going to be. I've decided to do them as fast runs, since I don't do traditional speedwork. I set out intending to run around 8:00-8:10 mpm, but ended up running faster than that. It felt good, so I didn't slow myself down. I'm actually really pleased with the splits, because the middle miles are really consistent, which is something I've been trying to work on. An interesting note is that I passed the 10K mark right under 48 minutes. My two fastest 10K races are 46:43 and 48:40, so running a time like that during training is pretty good for me.

I'm ridiculously happy with my run this morning as I feel like everything is really starting to come together with my training. While I felt like I pushing myself, I also felt like I could've been running harder and that I could have run farther. Today's run also bodes well for my upcoming 20K. I had been thinking that 8:30-9:00 mpm was a reasonable pace to shoot for, but now I'm thinking I might be able to run a little faster than that.

I did take my Gel Flask with me today, filled with Tri Berry Gu. YUCK! I didn't even drink half of the flask, the flavor was so gross. I dumped the rest out as I ran because I was tired of hearing the sloshing noise, and I thought it was too gross to finish. I still have another packet of it, but I will not be trying it again. If a gel grosses me out on the first trial, I will not touch it again. I've heard PowerGel reformulated their Vanilla gel, but my first experience with it was so terrible that I refuse to find out if the new one is any good.

1.00 | 7:51
2.00 | 7:37 | 15:28
3.00 | 7:41 | 23:09
4.00 | 7:45 | 30:54
5.00 | 7:43 | 38:37
6.00 | 7:44 | 46:22
7.02 | 7:29 | 53:51
7.02 miles | 53:51 | 7:40/mi. | 641 cal.

Cool-down | 1 mile | 9:16

weight lifting | upper body | 31:00

Great run today

Today's run? Awesome. Back after weight lifting.

New Foods

28 degrees | felt like 17 | wind 13 mph | sunny

Tested out 2 new things today: Cream of Wheat and Vanilla Bean Gu.

I've used oatmeal as my pre-run breakfast since I started running. I digest it quickly, and when I travel, all I need to bring with me are the packets, a bowl and a spoon. I started with Quaker Instant Oatmeal, which I still really like (I'm partial to Maple & Brown Sugar, Apples & Cinnamon, and Strawberries & Cream). About 2 years ago, I discovered Malt-O-Meal Instant Oatmeal, which is also really good and comes in larger packets. Last month, I tried out Quaker's Nutrition for Women Golden Brown Sugar. I have this thing about "women's" products, but I'd read some good reviews so I thought I'd give it a try. Eh. I don't plan on buying that again. The flavor was okay, but it left a really bizarre aftertaste.

Anyway ... I've read several times where Cream of Wheat is recommended for women runners because of the iron (45% DV). So I was at the store yesterday, and decided I'd give it a shot and I got a variety pack. It's ... hmm ... weird. It's grainy and kind of gritty. I had Strawberries 'n Cream which tasted okay, but that texture was just weird. I wasn't expecting that. I'm not sure that I'll be buying this stuff again either, but at least it was better than the "woman oatmeal."

The Gu was much better. The flavor was okay, and the texture was smooth. It didn't leave a nasty coating like the Vanilla PowerGel did. I could become a Gu convert - I like their packaging a lot. The packets of Gu are the smallest of all the gels I've seen, which is a factor when you're trying to carry a couple over long distances.

Today was an okay run. I ran on some of the bike paths surrounding the Engineer's work. (His company owns a gigantic piece of land, and has bike paths that loop around most of the property. They also have a soccer field, 3 or 4 softball fields, and a park). I also ran along the regular bike path, and I was tempted to keep going. If I weren't following a training plan (and my stomach wasn't making sloshing noises), I might have done so. But today was supposed to be an easy day, so I stuck to the schedule.

And while the temperature was a little colder, it was really nice to run without the strong winds. We're supposed to get into the 50s this week, though, which I'm very excited about.

1 | 9:13
2 | 9:26 | 18:39
3 | 9:41 | 28:20
4 | 9:14 | 37:35
5 | 2:22 | 39:57
4.26 miles | 39:57 | 9:22/mi. | 456 cal.

And a note to the Engineer:
Please stop eating all my oranges. I'm tired of having to go to the store to buy fruit every other day. At this rate, all the cashiers at Ghetto-Vee are going to know me by name and assume I have some kind of bizarre fruit eating ritual.
Love, your wife

Marathon Training Week #11, March 15 - 22

Miles: 37.6
Minutes: 350:21 running | 35:00 elliptical | 104:00 weight lifting
President's Challenge points: 4417

XT Day

weight lifting | upper body | 30:00
elliptical | 30:00 Cardio/5:00 CD | 26:26 in zone | 2.34 mi. | 526 cal.

Long Run

40s | felt like 30s | strong wind (20-30 MPH, gusts up to 45 MPH) | sunny

Spring has come to Minnesota! It was 44 degrees when I got up at 6. 44! I actually did not wear my jacket while running today; the last time I didn't wear it was in November, I think. A few people were wearing shorts, even. I briefly though about shorts, but seeing the wind advisory made me think that tights would be better. My legs did get warm occasionally, though, so I think I'll be wearing shorts soon.

I did go to the group run. It was interesting in that most of the people were doing sub-9 pace or something. A lot of people showed up, and then I never saw most of them once we got started. I ran the first mile and a half with one girl, but then I dropped back because we were going too fast. One of the group leaders ran with me for awhile, and we chatted which was nice even though we were running a little bit faster pace than I'd planned. We hit a water stop, and then I trailed a group of people for awhile. I kept getting this cramp in my side (AGAIN!) and my legs were feeling tired. At the last water stop, I took my Strawberry Banana PowerGel. (The Gu pocket worked out perfectly). I felt a lot better after that, and was able to keep up with the girl from earlier (K) and a guy (D) she'd been running with. K, D, and I ran along for awhile and talked about marathons. D has run a couple, including Chicago. He also had the Timex GPS watch, so we compared our distance readings. His had a higher distance, which was confusing (Timex's GPS is made by Garmin, so they should read the same) until I realized that K and D had made a wrong turn earlier so they had run farther than me.

The last couple miles were tough. We were running directly into the wind, and it was really strong. I think we definitely caught a couple of those 45 mph gusts. My hat blew off at one point, and I couldn't get it back on. Then my ponytail started loosening, and my hands were so cold I had trouble getting my hair back up. And because there is construction everywhere, there was tons of dirt and debris flying through the air. I was worried about it getting in my eyes, especially since I didn't have my hat on to somewhat protect me. K fell back a little, so it was just me and D. We realized that the planned route wasn't going to get us our 15, so we ran past the stopping point and tacked on a little extra. (And the shortness - it measured 13.7 - of today's measured route is why I'm glad I have a GPS. I would've trusted that the course was 15 miles, and would've then thought I'd run super fast). The good thing about that is we were able to finish our run running with the wind. I think today's wind might be the strongest I've run in yet.

01 | 8:43 - had to wait for satellite linking, then ran too fast trying to catch up
02 | 9:15 | 0:17:59
03 | 8:58 | 0:26:57 - ran with group leader
04 | 8:54 | 0:35:51 - ran with group leader
05 | 9:22 | 0:45:14
06 | 9:17 | 0:54:32
07 | 9:04 | 1:03:36
08 | 9:35 | 1:13:12
09 | 9:18 | 1:22:30
10 | 9:09 | 1:31:40
11 | 9:36 | 1:41:16
12 | 9:32 | 1:50:49
13 | 10:37 | 2:01:27 - really bad wind
14 | 9:25 | 2:10:52
15 | 8:59 | 2:19:51
16 | 1:03 | 2:20:55
15.07 miles | 2:20:55 | 9:21/mi. | 1419 cal.

Gels is a liar. Their store locator said that I could buy their products at 2 of the cycling shops in town. Well, I went to both of them and neither of them carry Carb-BOOM. Damnit. If I'd known that, I would've tested out the Gu this week. Gu is, in general, a lot easier to find than Carb-BOOM (I'd never seen it before my trip to the running store last weekend, although I had heard of it), and it turns out both stores carry Gu. So my tests this week were kind of for nothing - I don't really want to get attached to a product I can't even find in my own town.

At the second store, I decided to go ahead and pick up some other flavors/products to try. The woman working there was really nice, and cut me a break since I was trying stuff out. That was pretty cool. I got three kinds of Hammer Gel (Raspberry, Apple Cinnamon and Vanilla), which is another product I've heard about but never seen. I also picked up Vanilla Bean Gu and Raspberry Cream PowerGel.

For tomorrow, I'm either going to use the Strawberry Banana PowerGel I bought a few weeks ago, or the Raspberry Cream. I think I'm going to join the track club's marathon training class for their long run. The class meets Saturday mornings and the runs are open to all club members; you're supposed to bring $1 and they provide water stations. Since this is my first group run, I'm not sure how the water stations work. I've been told that they are every couple miles, and there will be water and sports drink. Sometime between now and tomorrow I'll need to figure the gel thing out, especially how to carry it with me. It might actually be warm enough to not wear my jacket, so I can't put it in the pocket. And I'm not sure if my holder will drag my shorts/tights down. I need a non-water carrier belt.

7 miles + weights

start: 34 degrees | felt like 23 | wind 17 mph
end: 36 degrees| felt like 23 | wind 30 mph

Go away wind! You know that old saying "March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb"? I think I've had enough of these "lion" days and would be really happy with a string of "lamb&" days. I don't usually note the start/end conditions, because they are usually the same plus/minus a degree/mile or two. But the wind felt a lot stronger than the 17 mph weather channel reported before I went outside, and checking when l got home revealed that it wasn't my imagination. The wind was really strong, and almost blew me over at one point. The first couple of miles were straight into the wind, and were a little tough. I came home a slightly different way, so that I approached my house from the south, as opposed to the north. This meant running with the wind, and I seriously almost couldn't stop when I reached my house.

1 | 9:27
2 | 9:42 | 19:10
3 | 9:29 | 28:40
4 | 9:12 | 37:52
5 | 9:00 | 46:53
6 | 8:54 | 55:47
7 | 8:39 | 64:27
8 | 0:47 | 65:14
7.10 miles | 65:14 | 9:11/mi. | 731 cal.

Miles 5 and 6 were with the wind on my back. Mile 7 was with the wind on my side (when I almost got blown over), and into the wind. The funny thing is that sometimes I do end up running a lot faster in the wind, and I think it's because running into the wind makes me feel like I'm not moving so I work harder just to feel like I'm moving.

I tested out the Carb-Boom while running today. I found my Gel Flask, and put the gel and water in it. I couldn't figure out where to put the flask, though. I've only used it once, and that was when I was wearing my Fuel Belt. I tried to attach it to my tights, but that didn't feel very secure and I was worried it would make my tights fall down. Since I wasn't going to be running that far, I decided to just carry it. I drank the gel/water around mile 3. Having the gel already diluted was nice, and it tasted pretty good. I should've had more water with the gel, though (8 oz is recommended, but the flask is 4 oz). I got a very slight cramp around 5 miles, but it went away after a short time.

weight lifting | upper body (no abs) | 19:00

Break Day

I'm taking today as my rest day, so I've been trying to find things to do today to keep me busy. I spent a good portion of the morning cleaning stuff in the kitchen, and shredding old checks. (I still had boxes of checks from my two previous bank accounts). This afternoon, I went to the library because someone FINALLY returned the "Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon" book I've been waiting to read. I also picked up two more sports nutrition books. I'm hoping by reading a lot of different opinions and studies, I'll be able to find something that works for me.

And on the topic of nutrition, lately I've been seeing Slim-Fast suggested as being really good for recovering from a long run. (This article is one of the places I've seen it talked about). I had to stop at Wal-Mart to pick up a few items today, so I picked up a case of their version of Slim-Fast. Their version is called "Weight Loss Shake," and I feel so self-conscious/stupid buying it. I doubt people look at my items, but whenever I pick up something like that I feel like people are looking at me and making assumptions about me. Stupid, I know. I could buy Boost or Ensure, which don't have as negative a connotation to me as Slim-Fast or "Weight Loss Shake," but why would I want to buy 4-bottles for $6-7 when I could get 6 cans for under $4?

I was going to post about self-image/body-image and My Virtual Model (two other things I've seen a lot of discussion on lately), but I need to go do more laundry. The Engineer and I manage to create a lot of laundry. If I'm already running 5-10 loads a week with just the two of us, I'm scared of how much more laundry there will be when we have kids. It's like with the grocery store; I doubt the cashier would suspect me of buying groceries for only two people (especially when I'm buying apples or cereal).


30 degrees | felt like 20 | wind 13 mph

Today, I tried Apple Cinnamon Carb-Boom. The flavor was pretty good, and it didn't leave a nasty coating/feeling in my mouth. (The first gel I ever tried was Vanilla Powergel. It felt icky while eating it, and it left a gross coating in my mouth that lasted the whole run. Yuck). As for the run test ... I think it was okay. For the last couple of days, I've had this weird stitch/cramp that pops up occasionally along my right side. I'm pretty sure it's my abdominals, as opposed to my stomach, but I'm not sure. It's happened during the first 1-2 miles of my runs this week, but I've also noticed it during the evening when I'm not running. That's why I'm not entirely sure what it is. I'm going to back off a little from ab-work this week to see if that helps. I'm going to take the gel with me on Friday's 7 mile run and test it out during a run.

Broke in my new shoes today, too. As much as I like having new shoes, I hate breaking them in. I always have trouble getting new shoes to lace up correctly. After a week or two of running, though, they fit like a glove. I just hate getting them to that state. Today was a good day for breaking in new shoes, since there was dirt, slush and a little bit of snow. So I've already got some dirty spots on my shoes - I hate gleaming white running shoes.

1 | 9:10
2 | 9:20 | 18:30
3 | 9:32 | 28:03
4 | 9:17 | 37:20
5 | 0:47 | 38:08
4.09 miles | 38:08 | 9:20/mi. | 408 cal.

weight lifting | upper body (no abs) | 20:00

7 miles

25 degrees | felt like 15 | wind 10 mph | sunny

A whole one degree higher than yesterday, but it felt a lot warmer. The sun being out makes a huge difference some days. I actually took off my mittens at the half point, and ran home with my hands bare. I was tempted to take off my jacket, but decided the hassle wasn't worth it. I managed to find one of the few places in town where the ice hasn't melted, and that was the bike path during mile 4. I think I'm going to break out the new shoes tomorrow, as my legs are feeling a little dead and I think not running in the worn down ones will help with that.

lap 1 | 9:15
lap 2 | 9:30 | 18:45
lap 3 | 9:24 | 28:09
lap 4 | 9:34 | 37:44 - icy path
lap 5 | 9:20 | 47:04
lap 6 | 9:19 | 56:23
lap 7 | 9:02 | 65:26
lap 8 | 0:40 | 66:06
7.08 miles | 66:06 | 9:20/mi. | 733 cal.

run + weights

24 degrees | felt like 16 | wind 7 mph

lap 1 | 9:20
lap 2 | 9:27 | 18:48
lap 3 | 9:28 | 28:16
lap 4 | 9:21 | 37:38
lap 5 | 2:20 | 39:58
4.26 miles | 39:58 | 9:23/mi. | 435 cal.

weight lifting | upper body | 35:00

Had to alter my route a little bit this morning, because they are doing something to my street. Living in a new construction area is fun for lots of reasons, and one of them is having construction crews close down your street occasionally. Not a big deal. I felt a little cold today, which seems odd because I don't think it was that cold out (relatively-speaking, that is). Today was what my old cross country coach would call a "shag run," basically a relaxed run to get out any lactic acid from the previous day's race. Splits show a bit more consistency than I've been seeing lately, which is good. I really need to work on running more evenly during training.


Dani - I just noticed your gel question, and thought I'd reply as a short post since I've added a few posts since then. I can't remember where I first read about gel intake, but I started using them once my training runs got to 16 miles. However, my previous training program skipped from 12 to 16 miles, so 13-15 mile training runs are new territory for me. I consider 2 hours to be my limit for not carrying water (outside; I can't stand to even run 3 miles on a treadmill w/o water), so I think that might become the point at which I might take gels with me. The running store guys told me to experiment with them on shorter runs first, though, because a long run isn't a fun time to find out something makes you sick, especially if you're running far away from a bathroom. I think I'm going to want to have gels with me on next weekend's 15 mile run, so I'll probably try out one of the new packets prior to a short run, and maybe during a mid-distance run. It'll get noted in the daily running report if I do.

I did find this article, which has some information. The author works for a gel company, though.

St. Pat's 5K; Training Week #12

My race this morning went really well, and my 2004 racing season is looking to be a good one.

Few notes to self:
The knit adidas pants should never be worn for running (even just a warmup/cooldown) again, or at least not when wearing tights underneath. But they'll probably still fall down, so it would be a good idea to not wear them again. Wear your pants that fit. Oh, and bring your mittens with you the next time you're going to run a race in the cold.

The race site reminded me of running around Forest Park. I bet it's really pretty in the summer, when the trees have leaves and the lake isn't covered by ice.

Warmup was done around 9:20, and seemed to leave enough time for stretching and stuff.

I'm really glad the Engineer drove up there, as opposed to me being the driver. I also appreciated him standing around in the cold, so he could hold my jacket and stupid pants while I ran.

I finally saw the race results, and I think I could've maybe finished 3rd in my age group for the 10K. I would've probably been in the top 10, but not the top 5 of overall women. My official time was reported as 23:08, which makes sense because it took me a second or two to realize that the gun went off. I should've just waited to cross the starting line to start my watch - I'll do that next time I'm in a large crowd of a race.

The post-race set up needed a little more organization, I think. There were water bottles at the finish, but they were in boxes and the finish line workers weren't offering them to people. The food and other drinks were set up inside, which was nice. There weren't any sport drinks, which is unusual in my opinion. I didn't need one, but I'm used to seeing them at races. I liked the bagels and fruit, but didn't really want much else. (Peanuts, cinnamon rolls, coffee, weird juice). Since I had been told I was second, I wanted to stay for the awards. I asked one of the volunteers, and she told me they were scheduled for 11:30, to give the 10K runners time to finish. The Engineer and I went over to the running store to kill some time, but hurried back so as not to miss the start. Well, the awards kept getting pushed back, which was frustrating because I wanted to go home. And it's not like home was/is close. They finally got the awards going at 12, but by then a large number of people had left. I don't blame them - most of the 5K award winners were done running by 10:30, and they probably didn't want to sit around for an hour and a half. It did give those of us who stayed better chances for the door prizes, though. I didn't win anything, which at first was okay since the prizes were mostly gift certificates to stores/places around the race site. But then one of the last prizes was a free entry to the Twin Cities Marathon ... oh I was jealous of that woman. I'd love a free marathon entry.

Marathon Training Week #12, March 8 - 14

38.03 miles
112 minutes weight lifting
4265 President's Challenge points

More bad weather

I'm glad that I'd already decided that today would be a non-running day. I slept poorly again, and woke up to something hitting our window. It sounded like "wintry mix" aka one of my least favorite forms of precipitation. But once I got up I saw it was just regular rain and 26 mph wind. I am so tired of the wind here this week!

I'm trying to decide if I want to go downstairs and cross-train today. Part of me feels like I should, because I normally exercise 6 days a week. But another part of me says to take today as another rest day because I'm running a race tomorrow. I don't have very high expectations for tomorrow, since I've already run 33 miles this week. Without tomorrow's run, that's my highest mileage week in a long time. It's also more miles than I usually run total in the week of a race. So I'm not sure how my legs will respond. I also don't know how big the race is - it's both a 5K and a 10K, and they not only run the same course (repeated for the 10K), but they are starting at the same time. So there will be both 5K and 10K runners on the course at the same time, which means it might be packed. Now, when I say I don't have high expectations that doesn't mean I'm not going to go out and try to bust ass, or that I'm making preemptive excuses. I'm just being honest and realistic with myself. Also, I've only run 1 5K in the last 6-7 years, so I really have no idea what I am capable of at that distance.

New shoes, new gel and an upcoming race!

I'm running a 5K race on Sunday! It's my first race of 2004, so that's kind of exciting. I've been thinking about it for awhile, but I made up my mind after running today. I went up to Minneapolis to register and pick up the race packet. (They did have race day registration as an option, but I'd rather not have to worry about that). I got a t-shirt (yay!) and they actually had smaller sizes. The girl working the registration booth suggested I get a small, but I went with the medium because I'd rather have a shirt be a little too big than a little too small. I tried it on when I got home and I think it fits perfectly for a race t-shirt. It's much prettier than the last one I posted.

While up in that area, I also went to the running store and got a new shoes. I need to start rotating a new pair in, as I think mine are starting to break down. It's going to be hard to actually rotate, though, because the new ones feel so much cushier than the old ones and I will want to wear them everyday. I had been worried that I might need to go up a half size, but the shoe guy assured me that mine are exactly the right size big enough. He pointed out that I actually have more room on the left than the right, which is interesting since the toenail I have had problems with is on the left foot. (The second toe on my left foot has a problem toenail. During training for my first marathon, it bruised after my 16 mile run. During training for the second marathon, it bruised after the 16 mile run and pretty much fell off after the 20 miler). The shoe guy also assured me that my wear pattern is even and normal - there aren't any signs of pronation, which still baffles me since I used to have a real problem with that.

I also took advantage of being in a real running store to pick up some packets of energy gel. Stupid POS Sport-Mart only carries Power Gel, and only 2 flavors at that. Luckily, one of the flavors is Strawberry Banana, which is what I've trained with in the past. But I want to try some new things out to make sure I'm using what really is best for me. So I picked up Apple Cinnamon Carb-BOOM and Tri-Berry Gu. (And looking at the Carb-BOOM site, it appears I can buy that locally at a cycling shop. That makes sense, and is good to know in case I actually like it).

Run + weights

10 degrees | felt like -1 | wind 8 mph

lap 1 | 9:13
lap 2 | 9:38 | 18:51
lap 3 | 9:36 | 28:27
lap 4 | 9:45 | 38:13
lap 5 | 9:18 | 47:31
lap 6 | 9:27 | 56:59
lap 7 | 9:27 | 66:27
lap 8 | 4:43 | 71:10
7.55 miles | 1:11:10 | 9:26/mi. | 774 cal.

weight lifting | upper body | 35:00

XT Day

weight lifting | upper body | 39:00


I hate grocery shopping.

I went to Wal-Mart North today to pick up a few items. The cashier didn't greet me, nor thank me. She didn't make any eye contact with me, actually, as that would've interrupted her talking with her friend about her bad credit and problems getting a cell phone. I sure am glad I had the chance to hear about all of that. Rudeness at Wal-Mart doesn't really surprise me, because it's Wal-Mart. The place isn't known for much other than cheapness.

Target, on the other hand is supposed to be a nicer store. Someone should maybe tell the cashier I had today. She didn't greet me, but that could be because some idiot man distracted her. No biggie. But then she tried to bag raw chicken with my apples. For crying out loud. This would bug me even if I weren't a vegetarian - you don't bag raw meat with other raw items! The Engineer insists on keeping raw meat in the grocery store bag in the refrigerator because he worries about leaks, so this isn't just my weirdness either. So I took the chicken out of that bag and got another bag for it. I guess that pissed off the cashier, because she then practically threw the bags at me when she finished filling them. She also didn't thank me when I was done paying; I have never not been thanked at Target. Wal-Mart, yes. Target, no. I was so annoyed by all of this that I picked up a comment card and I think I'm going to fill it out.

Long run in the wind

37 degrees | felt like 24 | wind 30 mph | parts sunny, parts overcast

lap 01 | 8:56
lap 02 | 9:17 | 0:18:14
lap 03 | 9:13 | 0:27:28
lap 04 | 9:15 | 0:36:43
lap 05 | 9:25 | 0:46:09 - snow covered path
lap 06 | 9:22 | 0:55:31
lap 07 | 9:38 | 1:05:10
lap 08 | 9:06 | 1:14:17
lap 09 | 9:24 | 1:23:42
lap 10 | 9:19 | 1:33:01
lap 11 | 9:21 | 1:42:22
lap 12 | 9:14 | 1:51:37
lap 13 | 9:09 | 2:00:46
lap 14 | 9:53 | 2:10:40
lap 15 | 0:21 | 2:11:01
14.04 miles | 2:11:01 | 9:20/mi. | 1401 cal.

While most of today's adventure with wind wasn't that bad, the last mile and a half was a real killer. Especially the last mile - it almost physically hurt running into the wind. I just looked at weather channel, and apparently there is a wind advisory:

Severe Weather Alert from the National Weather Service





So no wonder I had problems.

Tomorrow is so going to be a "sit on my ass" day. I felt pretty tired on this run, especially my right calf. I also really should have taken my fuel belt with me - I felt kind of thirsty in the last couple miles. The fun part was that I also thought I needed to pee. I hate being thirsty and needing to pee - it seems you shouldn't have both feelings at the same time.

I ran a completely different route today, and I'll definitely be incorporating parts of it into my schedule. I ended up near downtown, and I ran along the river which was really nice. Also, I got to check the accuracy of my Forerunner against a measured path. It ended up being dead-on. Yay.


As an experiment, I decided to keep track of how much water I drink in a day. The grand total for today ... 200 ounces. Holy crap! I had no idea I drank that much. I guess when you use 16-oz glasses, it adds up quickly. That, and it's the only thing I drink. But wow, that is a lot of water.

I really have no idea how much I should be drinking, though, since there doesn't seem to be any kind of a consensus. According to this calculator, I need 74.24 ounces/day. This calculator says I need 120 ounces/day, assuming I exercise less than 2 hours. Other calculators: one, two.

inconsistent run

28 degrees | felt like 28 | 3 mph wind | sunny

lap 1 | 8:52
lap 2 | 9:34 | 0:18:26
lap 3 | 9:20 | 0:27:47
lap 4 | 9:05 | 0:36:52
lap 5 | 9:26 | 0:46:19
lap 6 | 9:54 | 0:56:13
lap 7 | 9:04 | 1:05:18
lap 8 | 2:48 | 1:08:06
7.32 miles | 1:08:06 | 9:18/mi.

Lots of inconsistency today! Some parts of my path today were still covered in snow, which attributes to some of the slower miles. I am also feeling a little tired today, especially my calves. I've been taking a day off after my long runs, except for this past week. I had Friday off, ran hard Sat, ran long Sun, and ran yesterday and today. I was going to do lower body weight lifting, but I think I'll skip it today so as not to add more stress to my legs. I don't think LB lifting is that important for me right now anyway, so that's not a big deal.

Grocery shopping

I had to go to the grocery store today, because we were out of oranges and I wanted to find more tortillas. Sadly, there is some kind of problem with the warehouse, and none of the stores in town have been able to restock their supply. I found some other whole wheat tortillas that I guess will do until the good ones get stocked again. In addition to the tortillas, oranges and yogurt, I also bought ice cream. We haven't had any girl scouts come by, and I wouldn't mind having some Caramel deLites. (I refuse to call them "Samoas." They are Caramel deLites!) So I decided that some Caramel deLites ice cream would be the next best thing. Knowing me, the ice cream will last a long time. I buy ice cream and am excited about it for a day or two, and then end up forgetting about it.

Back from the doctor

Back from the doctor. She thinks that the sleeping problems are probably due to a depression/anxiety disorder issue. I don't think it's depression-related, and I'm not really interested in trying out medications for that to see if that solves it. She did say that waking up at the same time every day is a good thing, and that I probably have a very strong biorhythm. I did get a prescription for Ambien, a sleeping pill. The doctor suggested I try them to see if that helps, but that I don't have to take one every night. If I do find myself taking one every night and/or don't see any changes in a month I should come back.

I think the anxiety could be a part, but I stupidly didn't talk to her about the food issues I've been having. I don't understand why, I mean, it's my doctor. But for some reason, I feel kind of stupid talking about it with the doctor. Oh well. I've been sleeping a little bit better since I stopped calorie counting. I've just been eating what I feel like, aside from making sure I still eat my 5 fruits/day. Some days I feel like I'm eating like a crazy woman, but then I remind myself that I eat about 80-90% good, healthy food which is not crazy.


I sent off my 20K entry form today. It's April 10, and it'll be a good predictor for the marathon. I also found 2 shorter races that I want to enter, because I am itching to see how fast I am right now. There is a 5K/10K this Sunday, and a 5K/8K next Sunday. I want to run the 5K this weekend, and the 8K next weekend. I doubt I'll be able to get the Engineer to agree to 2 races, especially since I need new shoes this month. I'll probably also need a new pair in May, since I don't want to run the marathon in a pair with over 100 miles on them. That's $140-150 (plus 80 minutes driving each way to get the shoes); the races are $15-25/each. Isn't running supposed to be a cheap sport?<

Run + weights

28 degrees | felt like 20 | 8 mph wind | cloudy

lap 1 | 9:08
lap 2 | 9:22 | 18:30
lap 3 | 9:23 | 27:53
lap 4 | 9:11 | 37:05
lap 5 | 0:12 | 37:18
4.02 miles | 37:18 | 9:16/mi. | 402 cal.

weight lifting | upper body | 38:00

running - 4:04:33 | 27.04 miles
elliptical - 0:35:00
weight lifting - 1:36:00
total exercise - 6:15:33

3386 Presidential Challenge points

Hard long run

31 degrees | felt like 16 | 32 mph wind | cloudy

lap 01 | 8:48 | 0:08:48 | 93 cal.
lap 02 | 9:06 | 0:17:54 | 100 cal.
lap 03 | 9:02 | 0:26:56 | 101 cal.
lap 04 | 9:16 | 0:36:13 | 107 cal.
lap 05 | 9:19 | 0:45:33 | 114 cal.
lap 06 | 9:09 | 0:54:43 | 112 cal.
lap 07 | 8:56 | 1:03:40 | 91 cal.
lap 08 | 9:06 | 1:12:46 | 110 cal.
lap 09 | 8:49 | 1:21:36 | 119 cal.
lap 10 | 9:27 | 1:31:03 | 115 cal.
lap 11 | 0:28 | 1:31:32 | 14 cal.
10.06 miles | 1:31:32 | 9:06/mi. | 1076 cal.

Ok, today? Not fun. The splits are a little misleading as to how hard running in 32 mph wind is. I managed to zig-zag directions enough so that I only had 3 miles which were directly into the wind. You can tell which miles those are, as well as which miles were with the wind directly at my back. 32 mph is really strong. Running into it made my right eye water, and pushed the zipper of my jacket into my throat. Running down hills with the wind at my back was scary, because the wind was making me go faster and I couldn't focus quickly enough to make sure I wasn't landing on ice. The last mile was really hard, and at one point it felt like I could maybe walk faster, since the wind was pushing so hard against me.

But you know what? I'm glad I didn't wuss out and I still went out to do my run today. I think it makes me a stronger runner by dealing with shitty conditions. That's not to say that you can't be a strong runner by using a treadmill (if I had one, I probably would've stayed inside today). Just that I get a big confidence boost when I look back through my log and see some of the stuff I've run through. One thing that helped today was the realization that it very well could be this windy on the day of the marathon. It reminded me of what some people said when I was worried about it raining on the day of a long run - they won't cancel the marathon for rain, so a training run in the rain is great experience and practice. So now I know I can still get a decent run in when it's really windy out. But I won't be too upset if I never have to run in winds that strong again.

Whining about wind

Doesn't this look like fun:

9 AM Mostly Cloudy / Wind 34° 20° 28° 20% 80% From the Northwest at 30 mph 10 AM Mostly Cloudy / Wind 34° 21° 28° 20% 79% From the Northwest at 29 mph 11 AM Mostly Cloudy / Wind 33° 19° 27° 20% 79% From the West Northwest at 28 mph 12 PM Mostly Cloudy / Wind 33° 19° 26° 20% 78% From the West Northwest at 28 mph

I have trouble with 20 MPH wind ... 24-25 MPH is enough to pretty much knock me over. Hopefully weather channel will be wrong, or tomorrow's 9 miler is going to suck big time.

new satellite channel

weight lifting | upper body | 35:00

I like to lift to the music channels on satellite. This past week, I discovered that the showcase channel has a block of music programming called "Hits from the 90s." I wish they would turn it into a channel, because I would listen to it all the time. I rarely feel like switching the channel when listening to it, which is a rare thing for me.

Turns out I should've read my training schedule before running this morning. I was supposed to do 6, not 5. Oops. No biggie, though.

Tempo run

29 degrees | felt like 20 | 10 mph wind | sunny

lap 1 | 8:06 | 08:06 | 90 cal.
lap 2 | 8:03 | 16:10 | 96 cal.
lap 3 | 7:59 | 24:09 | 101 cal.
lap 4 | 7:51 | 32:00 | 93 cal.
lap 5 | 7:59 | 40:00 | 111 cal.
lap 6 | 0:45 | 40:46 | 10 cal.
5.10 miles | 40:46 | 8:00/mi. | 501 cal.

This was a great run. I was unsure about how hard I'd be able to run, since I didn't know ahead of time what the roads were going to be like. The roads were fine, aside from a few ice patches. The snow has started melting already, so the pavement was wet; it was sunny so there was a nice glare off of the road. I did have to change my route, since I had planned on running down the trail but it had a couple of inches of snow. I started to run down it, but the snow was not going to be good for running fast. I might run down it tomorrow, since that would help make sure I run slow. I want to find a short race, because I'm feeling pretty good about my chances to run one well. Aside from an odd cramp in the last mile, I felt really good today. I felt like I was pushing myself, but like I still had more.

Snow update

It might help if I actually used the "publish" or "post" buttons.

So the snow wasn't as bad as I thought ... the newspaper reported less than 2 inches. At 7-something AM it looked like a lot more. I'm sure the bike path will be all slushy and crappy again tomorrow, but oh well. It turns out I forgot to charge the Forerunner last night, so maybe not being able to run this morning wasn't so terrible. I haven't had it that long, but I'm already really used to it. I don't know that I'd like going back to not knowing the exact distance I'm covering.

Duke Tests Procedure for Breast Cancer

Yahoo! News - Duke Tests Procedure for Breast Cancer
DURHAM, N.C. - A new procedure that detects subtle signs of breast cancer long before a lump develops could steer women at risk to earlier treatments.

XT Day

weight lifting | lower body | 15:00
elliptical | 30:00 Cardio/5:00 CD | 26:22 in zone | 2.35 mi. | 529 cal.


ARGH! I am so fucking pissed off. First:

There was no snow yesterday - it had all melted. And now there is snow covering the roads again (and the city won't get off their asses to plow it for several more hours). I was supposed to run today, but there are several inches covering the roads AND it is still snowing with 26 MPH winds.

I got up at 7AM because I have a doctor's appointment at 10AM. I got up early so I could get in my run and still have time to shower. The office just called me to tell me my appointment has been canceled. So there is no reason for me to be up right now - I could have slept another hour. That's great. I make an appointment for sleeping problems, and then after waking up early it gets canceled.

Can this day suck any more? I doubt it!!!

FitDay break

I got a doctor's appointment for Friday morning. I am worried that my problems could be from over-training, but I don't really think that's it. I've been really good about not having sharp increases in mileage, I take rest days, and I use step-back weeks. I think the cause is probably food-related somehow. It seems odd to me because I think I do eat enough to fuel my activity, but according to some of the books I've been reading that may not be true. (As a sidenote: one of the books recommends seeing a registered dietician that specializes in sports nutrition. That sounds like a really good idea, except there are only TWO RDs in this town, and neither of them specialize in vegetarian or sports nutrition). While I think tracking my food through FitDay has been a good idea, I also think it might be making me a little obsessive. So I'm taking a break from logging food, and I'm going to try just eating. I have a pretty good idea of what I need to eat every day ... maybe being more relaxed about food will help me be more relaxed about everything else.

short run

32 degrees | felt like 25 | 8 mph wind | cloudy

lap 1 | 9:19 | 09:19 | 90 cal.
lap 2 | 9:30 | 18:50 | 94 cal.
lap 3 | 9:22 | 28:12 | 111 cal.
lap 4 | 2:20 | 30:32 | 28 cal.
3.25 miles | 30:32 | 9:24/mi. | 323 cal.

I wasn't sure about running this morning, but it felt good to get out and move. Last night was horrible. I've been having trouble sleeping for a couple of weeks now - I wake up at least once during the night, and I am always awake by 8:30 am even if I'm tired. Last night I woke up at 3:45 and could not fall back asleep. After 30 minutes, I got up and went to my "office" in the hopes that the internet would make me sleepy. Around 5:15, I still wasn't sleepy, but I went back to bed. I got some sleep, but not a whole lot. I think it's time to see the doctor, because this is not normal and I can't really stand to have another night like last night.

No weight lifting today. I think it's probably better to not push myself that much when tired. I may take tomorrow as a rest day instead of cross training. We'll see.


Not being able to sleep SUCKS!

Old boring story

It has been cloudy and grey for the past couple of days, which I think has a lot to do with the blah feelings I've had the last couple of days. It's also dropped back into the low-mid 30s. I thought that stretch of sunny, warm weather was too good to be true.

I've tried to find little projects to occupy me. I added an "about me" page. I'm not sure what all should be on there, so it's kind of sparse right now.

Over the weekend, I went through my old running calendars. In high school, I kept track of my mileage on a calendar. One the one hand, I kept a really anal log. It's color-coded and everything (yellow for miles ran on my own, pink for miles ran with the team, blue for races). But I rarely, if ever, wrote down the times of my runs. I would love to know what pace my training runs were. I made some charts that will probably get put up sometime (probably with the exercise log, found by clicking on my current miles). It was a fun activity, going through my old records. I found that my highest weekly mileage week was 56.5, something I'd forgotten about. (I didn't remember ever having gone above 50).

Long boring story ahead!

There was a downside to looking at the logs, and that was looking at the '97 one (senior year of track). I had worked hard all winter, averaging 30 mpw. Then the first day of practice, I tripped and fell and tore up my knee. (Seven years later, I still have the scar from that fall). Every time I moved my knee, the wound re-opened. I was stupid, though, and kept coming to practice for the rest of the week, even though running on it hurt a lot and my altered stride caused problems with my hamstrings. My distance coach refused to let me cut short workouts; I guess he thought I was lying or something. The head coach saw me in the lunch room that Friday, limping around, and told me not to come to practice - that if I couldn't walk, I shouldn't be running. I was out from practice the whole next week on the advice of both a doctor and a trainer.

So I came back after a week off from running and my coach threw me right back into practice, like I hadn't been gone. I look back now and realize how stupid that was. My knee was better, but upping my mileage as fast as we did was a mistake. The whole season was a disaster, actually. I had thought occasionally about quitting the team and running on my own - I wish I had the guts to have done that. I can't even imagine what would've happened with my running if I hadn't dragged myself through a season with unsupportive teammates and an even more unsupportive coach. It makes me sad to see how often I wrote things like "felt crappy," "felt slow," "legs hurt," "knee hurt," "legs tired," "felt tired," "felt/was slow." It's not really that surprising that I didn't want to run college xc and that I ended up taking off the long amount of time that I did, but it hurts to know how easily it could've been avoided.

Run + weights


lap 1 | 9:21 | 09:21 | 101 cal.
lap 2 | 9:45 | 19:07 | 102 cal.
lap 3 | 9:41 | 28:48 | 101 cal.
lap 4 | 9:33 | 38:22 | 98 cal.
lap 5 | 9:32 | 47:55 | 109 cal.
lap 6 | 3:26 | 51:21 | 43 cal.
5.38 miles | 51:21 | 9:33/mi. | 554 cal.

I wasn't "into" this run, either, which I think explains the slower pace. I just felt kind of blah. Right now, my knee hurts; it's been awhile since it's bothered me.

weight lifting | lower body | 13:00

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Run + weights

40 degrees | felt like 33 | 13 mph wind | cloudy

Today was the first day since November that I ran with my ears uncovered, which was a weird feeling for the first few minutes. I probably could've worn shorts with pants over them, but I stuck with tights because it was supposed to start raining. Wet clothing isn't much fun anyway, but heavy wet clothing really sucks. I'd rather have wet tights than wet shorts/pants. There was no rain, however, just clouds. It did rain last night, because the pavement was wet. Although that could be from all the melting snow.

Passed a guy on the trail running with his kid in a running stroller. I think it's so cute to see parents running with their kids. There's a guy on some of my running lists that runs with his kid, and he (the dad) posts updates on their progress occasionally. It's nice to hear about little kids wanting to run. When my brothers and I ran with the track club, there were kids that didn't really want to be there and it seemed like they were forced into it by their parents. And that's no fun.

Lap 1 | 9:19 | 09:19 | 96 cal.
Lap 2 | 9:31 | 18:50 | 96 cal.
Lap 3 | 9:20 | 28:11 | 119 cal.
Lap 4 | 2:11 | 30:22 | 22 cal.
3.25 miles | 30:22 | 9:21/mi. | 333 cal.

weight lifting | upper body | 33:00